Ukrainian Dessert Varenyky (dumplings)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of salt
Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a deep well in the center. Drip in the egg, milk and salt. With your fingers or a large spoon, slowly mix the flour into the liquid ingredients, then mix vigorously until the dough is stiff enough to be gathered into a compact ball. If the dough crumbles add additional 1 to 2 teaspoons of milk to make the particles adhere. Dust the ball with flour, wrap in wax paper, and chill 30 minutes.
1 pound of large-curd cottage or pot cheese
1/ 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of melted butter, cooled
1/ 2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of sour cream
4 tablespoons of melted butter, hot
Purée the cheese in a food mill, or rub it with the back of a large spoon through a sieve set over a bowl. Then beat in the sugar, egg yolk, melted butter and salt, and stir in 1 cup of the sour cream, 1/ 4 cup at a time. Continue to stir the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Taste for seasoning; if you prefer the filling sweeter, stir additional sugar.
1 1/ 2 pound of fresh sour cherries, pitted
1/3 cup of sugar
1 pint of blueberries
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of fresh, strained lemon juice
2 egg whites, beaten to a froth
Spread half the fruit in the bottom of a 1-quart enameled or stainless steel saucepan. Sprinkle with half the sugar, then make similar layers of the remaining fruit and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer over moderate heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out as many circles as possible with a 3½-to 4-inch cookie cutter. Then gather the remaining scraps into a ball, roll out again, and cut out additional circles. With a pastry brush, coat each circle with a light film of the beaten egg white. Drop 1 tablespoon of the cheese or 1 teaspoon of fruit on the lower half of each circle. Bring the exposed half of the circle up over the filling and press all around the dough firmly with the back of a fork. Make certain that the edges are thoroughly sealed to prevent the filling from seeping through. Set aside, loosely covered with a towel, until ready to cook.
Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart pot and drop in 6 dumplings and gently stir a few times. Lower the heat and simmer the dumplings uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they float to the surface of the water. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a heated platter. Cover loosely with foil to keep them hot while you cook the remaining dumplings similarly.
To serve, arrange the dumplings on a heated platter and moisten them with the hot melted butter. If you have used the fruit filling, serve the dumplings with cherry or blueberry juice. The cheese-filled dumplings are customarily served with the remaining cup of sour cream.
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